When salon prices become a burden on your wallet, you may find yourself looking for alternatives for dyeing and darkening your eyebrows. Commercial dyes contain dangerous chemicals that can irritate and damage the eye if not used properly. Using a combination of henna and indigo to darken your eyebrows allows you to achieve the look you want without the chemicals. Both are safe, environmentally friendly and, with a little caution, may be applied at home.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Body art quality henna
- Lemon juice
- Distilled water
- Small airtight container
- Cotton swabs
- Petroleum jelly
- Cotton pads, paper towels or old, clean washcloths
- Eyebrow brush
Put on rubber gloves, then mix two tablespoons of henna with enough lemon juice to produce a thick paste in a small container. Combine the lemon juice with equal parts distilled water before mixing if you have sensitive skin.
Cover the henna mixture and allow it to sit at room temperature overnight. If time is an issue, leave in a warm (not hot) area for at least two hours to allow dye to set.
Place two tablespoons of indigo into a bowl once the henna is ready. Mix immediately before application with water until it is thick. Wear rubber gloves as indigo and henna will stain skin.
Add a small amount of lemon juice to the henna immediately before using. Blend until it has a creamy consistency.
Mix 1/3 indigo paste with 2/3 henna paste to achieve a light brown colour. Use equal parts henna and indigo paste for a medium brown colour. Use a ratio of 2/3 indigo to 1/3 henna paste for a dark brown colour. Add more indigo to this last combination for very dark brown or black dye. Mix well.
Wash and dry your face. Pull hair away from face to avoid accidental dyeing.
Dip a cotton swab in petroleum jelly and rub around your eyebrows to prevent staining the skin. Take care not to touch the eyebrow hairs.
Use the eyebrow brush to brush your eyebrows inward toward the centre of the forehead.
Dip a cotton swab into the henna and indigo mixture and brush onto eyebrows. Take care to only apply to the hairs, not the skin. Apply a thick layer, making sure to apply from the outer tip of the eyebrow inward. Wipe excess dye off with a cotton swab dipped in petroleum jelly.
Leave the dye on your eyebrows for 20 minutes. Wipe with a dry washcloth, paper towels or cotton pad. Remove as much as possible, then remove any remaining dye with a damp cloth, paper towel or cotton pad.
Tips and warnings
- It is safe to apply henna as often as you like until you achieve the colour you desire.
- Henna powder and henna mixed with lemon juice can be stored in airtight containers for up to one year.
- Store indigo powder for up to one year in a cool, dry place.
- Indigo must be used immediately after mixing, and any unused portion of mixed indigo should be discarded.
- Always test a few hair strands before applying any dyes. Remove hairs from your brush and submerge them in henna/indigo paste for a couple of hours, then rinse to get an idea of the colour you will end up with. Experiment with the mixture to achieve darker or lighter shades of brown.
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